Monday, August 23, 2010

Answer to Doctrinal Quiz Show, Spirituality Edition. And, Bubble Awards!

This one is a toughie, since none of us was taught about traditional Catholic spirituality in CCD!  Well, we weren't taught much of anything in CCD, but that is another story.

The DQS challenge was:

Traditional Catholic spirituality speaks of three stages of holiness through which a Christian must pass on his way to perfection. Name the three stages of holiness, and give a brief explanation or characteristic of each one.

And the answer is:

First Stage ("spiritual courtship"): The purgative stage. This is also known as the way of the beginner. A soul has left mortal sin behind and is now in a state of grace and on the path to holiness. However, the temptation to slip back into mortal sin is present (at least in the beginning of this stage), and the soul is still preoccupied with "self" over God. The vast majority of Christians live and die in the purgative stage.

Second Stage ("spiritual betrothal"): The illuminative stage. Also known as the way of the proficient. At this stage, fear and anxiety start to recede, and peace and joy take their place. Prayer life changes from active to more passive (i.e., in the purgative stage, we do most of the work of prayer; in the illuminative stage, God starts to do most of the work, and we receive). Many souls glimpse or enter the illuminative stage, but then fall back to the first stage.

Third Stage: ("spiritual marriage"): The unitive stage. This is the way of the perfect. This is what the saints achieved on earth -- unity with Christ and a share in the Heart of the Trinity. What happens to the soul in this final stage is breathtaking, and it is characterized by infused contemplation. The Dark Nights happen at certain points in this stage. (By the way, the Dark Nights are greatly misunderstood, and I hope to write on that soon). Most of us won't get to the unitive stage until Heaven! 

I could really go wild with descriptions of the stages and how our prayer, our reception of the sacraments, our Scripture reading, etc., change as we progress through the stages. But stay tuned... I am going to do another post on this soon. I had forgotten how mind-blowing and life-changing this was for me when I first learned it! I need to revisit it in my own life, and I will take you all along for the ride. 

Now, on to the coveted BUBBLE AWARDS!!!!

The Saying that TCIE is Awesome Award goes to Mrs. Blondies!! (I always do what TCIE says.)

The What an Impertinent Question Award goes to Beth!! (But I will answer you this way: The extended family had four hotel rooms for five days each, so that's a lot of soap! Unfortunately, I am running low and didn't take nearly as much as I should've.)

The Nice Try, You Almost Got the Grand Prize But You Were Not So Much Brief as Incomplete as You Only Answered Half the Question Award goes to Complicated Life!! 

The If You Are Dwelling in Stage Negative One, Get Thee to a Confessional! Award goes to Wheelbarrow Rider!!

Meanwhile, I think it's no secret who has won the Grand Prize this time around.....
THIS CROSS I EMBRACE!!!! She has had a rough year, to say the least, but I think her luck is turning around! Get a load of this:

Enjoy your green shower, TCIE!!!!  
And to all those who didn't win an award this time, don't lose heart! There is always next time. :)

Thanks for playing this spirituality edition of DQS!!!


  1. Fascinating!!!! I couldn't wait to read your answer! Where have you read about this? St. Theresa of Avila? St. John of the Cross?

  2. Whoa. This is so interesting! I have NEVER heard of these stages! But I like how they help you identify spiritual growth.

  3. Man, I answered first AND admitted ignorance and STILL didn't get an award? What kind of a game show is this, anyway?!!!

    All bubble award humor aside, this is so fascinating. Is there a book or something that you found this in? I must brush up.

  4. SC, I sooooooooooooo wanted to give you an award!! I had a few in mind for you. But you know how it is... I don't want to be like a liberal and give everyone an award, so I have to limit it. That leaves some wonderful folks without a coveted award!!

    And, yes, I am going to give you a post about how I learned this great stuff, including my book resources.

    Lauren, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa's works are heavily referenced in the stages.

    More soon!!

  5. SC, next time you need to call me awesome.

    Leila, I am telling you, if this soap is the only good thing that happens for me all year long, it will still be so worth it!!

    And everyone else - this just proves you need to read my blog more frequently, along with the comments :) Then you'd know the answer.

    OK, I'll get off my soapbox now... HA!

  6. Yay!!! I won something! Lol It was a question begging to be asked!

  7. lol, as I read the descriptions I thought, maybe I am further than I thought, lol. Of course your award made me realize I am not. Pride or general sin, either way off to confession I go!

  8. Yes, next time I will definitely call someone awesome (winking at TCIE).

    And Leila, you're awesome for not being a liberal in your award distribution. We need more of this today! But I still want one :)

  9. And the award for blatant brown-nosing of the award-giver by a) calling her awesome, albeit well after the fact and b) confirming that she is NOT a liberal, goes to Second Chances.

  10. Ha, TCIE! And, didn't SC get the brown-noser award in the first edition of DQS???

  11. Whoa! My mind is totally blown - in a good way, not because I'm exhausted way - I had never heard any of this! Looking forward to learning more so don't take too long - you know, because you have nothing else to do like take care of your kids or anything ;)

  12. Rebecca and everyone, stay tuned! I have been dealing with a sick little baby and the start of school, but I am definitely going to follow up on this.... :)


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